Artist Profiles: Li Xiangting

Li Xiangting

Li Xiangting was born in 1940 in Liaoyuan, China.

Li Xiangting is a world-class guqin (Chinese 7 string zither) and xiao (Chinese vertical bamboo flute) master. He is currently a distinguished professor of guqin at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, vice-president of the China Guqin Committee and the Beijing Guqin Research Association, and senior consultant to the North American Guqin Association.

Professor Li is renowned not only for his individual style of guqin music but also for his refined traditional scholarly skills in xiao flute playing, calligraphy, ink-painting and poetry.

Born in Liaoyuan, northeast China, he graduated from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 1963 and studied with influential master Zha Fuxi. He studied painting with distinguished masters Pan Su and Pu Xuezhai.

Between 1989 and 1994 he accepted fellowships at the universities of Cambridge and London and has traveled extensively throughout the world for both his guqin performances and his other scholarly activities.

Besides performing in China, Li Xiangting has also staged recitals in many countries in Europe and Asia as well as the USA. He has also recorded and arranged solo guqin music for a number of films and television dramas, including “The Emperor’s Shadow”, “The Confidante” and “Zhuge Liang”. He has also lectured at various universities.

The recital he held in 1982 at the Oriental Music Festival in England was the first of its kind in the history of the guqin. In August 2003, he was selected as the only Chinese music performer at the International Edinburgh Festival. Professor Li?s prolific publications range from several dozen research articles, poems and books through to music CDs and exhibitions of his calligraphy and ink-paintings.

He has published more than a dozen guqin recordings. He released his first guqin instructional video CD in 2000. In November 1994, he received the “Outstanding Ethnic Writers and Painters Award” granted by the Chinese Artists’ Association and the Chinese Authors’ Association.

His guqin album ” the Glow of Sunset and Flowing Water” won the Golden Tripod Award in Taipei. In 2002, a special program about his guqin improvisations by the China National Radio Station won the Best Production Award at the Shanghai International Music Festival. One of his main contributions to the art of the guqin is his exploration of contemporary works such as improvisation, East-West collaboration and creative compositions for the guqin.

His guqin album the Glow of Sunset and Flowing Water won the Golden Tripod Award in Taipei. In 2002, the special program about his guqin improvisation by the China National Radio Station won the Best Production Award at the Shanghai International Music Festival.

Discography:

China: The Art of the Qin – Chine: L’Art Du Qin (Ocora, 1990)
Soul of China (Manu Music Productions, 1994)
Tao of Healing ‎(Soundings Of The Planet, 2000)
Sleeping Lotus ‎(Real Music, 2005)
Music of the Song Dynasty (Marco Polo, 2016)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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